• Ellen

BSL and your Community

What is BSL and why should you pay attention?

BSL stands for British Sign Language and is the first language for many people who are deaf across the country (BSL has accents so some signs are different in different regions, so don't be surprised to find a range of signs for a word, they are all correct). It isn't just miming what you say, in fact it has it's own language structure and is not spoken in the same order as standard English (SSE stands for sign supported English which uses BSL signs in spoken English order). For example if you wanted to ask "what's your name?" you would sign name you what? Below I have included some basic signs, there is a right handed and a left handed version (click the arrow to move to the left handed version).

The reason it is important to learn at least some basic signs is that we are excluding a whole group from our communities, simply because we find it difficult to communicate. If we could get a whole community signing it would benefit more than just those who are deaf as people with disabilities such as downs syndrome or autism can also find BSL (Some use SSE or Makaton, an alternative form of signing in England) enhances their ability to communicate.

Many that use BSL as their primary form of communication find that they are only able to communicate with small groups of people, which can lead to isolation. That doesn't need to be the case, as a community lets start making a change and learn to communicate with every member of our society.

We may be a podcasting network but we still want to be as inclusive as possible, would you be interested in more BSL based blogs? I have only been learning BSL for a year at university, so am by no means an expert but am happy to share the knowledge that I do have.

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